David, or "Moose" as just about everybody calls him, enlisted in the Marines in 2008 shortly after graduation. He was injured in late 2010 while on a tour in Afghanistan. Moose has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and PTSD. He is quite honest about his struggles with memory loss, constant headaches & migraines, loss of vision in his left eye, irritability, twitches, balance issues and PTSD Symptoms. He is currently medically retired and 100% disabled.
Moose has a wife, Lindsay, and two children - a 3 year old daughter and a 10 month old son.
Letters of support and encouragement are needed for Moose. Let's show how much we care and appreciate him and the sacrafices he has made for all of us. Include Moose and his family in your prayers as well. Let's work our OPPAL magic! :)
UPDATE 05-02-2014: Let's join together to congratulations David "Moose" on his recent appointment to the Arnold Veterans commission. I just know he will do an awesome job representing the voice of his fellow veterans. It is my understanding that the rest of the members are very glad to have him on board! Way to Go Moose :)
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Moose and write a feature article about what he is up to in the May Operation Prayers and Letters Newsletter. Here is what the article said:
I recently had the opportunity to visit with David and talk about his very busy schedule these days. David is very passionate about becoming an advocate for veterans and draws from personal knowledge and first hand experience with his own health issues to do so. I contacted David by email to see if he would be willing assisting with an article for the Operation Prayers and Letters newsletter and he gladly accepted my invitation.
David wrote, "I have just been appointed and approved for the Arnold [MO] Veterans Committee. I also volunteer for Urban Future and mentor a North City child who is in 8th grade and can't even read. I really enjoy it. I am running for a position at my local Marine Corps League. Also, as you know, I recently spent the day in Jefferson City speaking to the Veterans Commission and the Disability Committee about TBI, PTSD, and Service Dogs."
David had been invited to the State Capitol in Jefferson City Missouri by Representative Kathie Conway. He originally met Representative Conway when he was a guest speaker at a St. Louis Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner at the end of March. She (Rep. Conway) is attempting to solicit state assistance for a program that pairs individuals in need with service dogs and David has a service dog who has helped him in many ways (David's service dog, Dilylah, was actually already a part of his family and was trained by This Able Veteran to serve in her new role).
While in Jefferson City, David had the opportunity to tour the grounds of the Capitol building, speak to Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, and sit in on a floor meeting. He spoke to the Veterans Commission about his military experience, his current health issues, and how beneficial his service dog has been in helping him cope during his transition back to civilian life. To end the day, David spoke to the Disability Council and said he felt that he, "...opened a lot of eyes to the life of a service member with TBI/PTSD;[about] how a person can look perfectly fine but have so many issues." Since that day, David has received many hand written letters from representative and senators thanking him for speaking and letting him know how much of an impact he made that day.
David tells me that he is honored to help veterans and will continue to do so everyday. I have feeling that we will be hearing a lot more about David and his mission in the months to come.
I want to share a message I received from Moose today! He writes, "I'd just like to start by saying thanks for all the letters. I get goose bumps with every package. Its great to know that people care. I am still in recovery. Trying to deal with headaches and such. I attend pain management, polytrauma, and mental health appointments. I also volunteer my time with helping veterans and those who also suffer from TBI.
My family is doing great. Heidi my daughter will be four in September she just started gymnastics and loves it. Kamden turned one in April. He's an ox. My wife and Kam have a rare disease that we are dealing with but we are staying positive. Lindsay my angel, wife, and caregiver is staying strong. I'd be lost without her. All in all life is good. We are dealing with what we are dealt. Thank you so much for all the kind words. Lindz and I read them together."
I'm sure everyone will keep this amazing family close in thought and prayer.
UPDATE: April 16, 2015
I'm going to brag on Moose today. Over the past few months, he has been working hard eating right and exercising - and exercise for him means a LOT of lifting weights! As of this month, he has lost a total of 41 lbs! Congratulations Moose! Keep your eye on the prize!
On May 13, Moose & his family celebrated his "Happy to be Alive day" it has been 5 years since he was first injured in Afghanistan. Lindsay surprised him with a video she created in honor of him and this occasion. Moose's response was this: "I am completely speechless. Lindsay contacted family to make a video for my 5 years of being injured. Tried hard to fight the sweaty eyes. Thank you everyone that wrote in and sent a video in to Lindz. Feels amazing to know how loved I am. It has been a long hard road and still fighting many battles. But y'all prove why I must continue to fight. I love all of you. Thank you so much."
It is official now. Effective the 1st day of next month, Moose will be permanently retired from his "beloved Corps". He was genuinely pleased that his Certificate of Retirement was signed by the same official that pinned him with his Purple Heart. Best Wishes LCPL David "Moose" for continued health and happiness!
Date added to program: 2/14/2014
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